Warning: sentimental sappiness ahead:
I am not a religious person, per say, I was raised as a roman catholic yet found ‘God’ in two distinct other places.
The first place was the beach. Any beach. If you grew up on Long Island, you and the beach were good friends. The smell of the beach, the sun, the soft sand, the dunes, the fishermen- the after prom parties etc… I learned about beauty,nature, light, hope, faith, danger and passion at the beach. I learned this from the wind, the waves, the sun and moon reflections, the patterns and the people there with me.
We spent much of our summers on our boat or at the beach and many a winter weekend taking drives to the beach or to the east end of Long Island. This brings me to god’s second location.
The Parrish Museum in Southampton, NY. This place is where I also saw beauty, as created by humans and not mother nature. I loved the smell of hardwoods, oil paint, and loved seeing the incredible collection of art thanks to lots of easy donor money. There were tiny little rooms with larger than life paintings of great importance. Outside, there was a statuary in two neat rows with carved marble busts of the greek gods- we walked through there staring into those blank yet all knowing marble faces. We played chase and ate our lunch out there, under the glare of these gods.
In this museum I learned about light, dark, beauty, pain, passion, hope, and faith. I would leave inspired every time.
I just found out they closed the old building in November ( to be used as a retail space ,maybe,I read) and moved to a brand new super over-designed modern building in Watermill. I am sure it is fabulous and awe inspiring. I am sure you can get a latte in a great cafe there now and spend 4 seconds in front of each painting. I am sure you can go to a ‘who’s who’ type of gala there in a ballgown. I am positive the collection is well lit, well shown and revered the same as it was in the old building. I am snarky.
My heart is broken. I am in mourning for a building. My Parrish is no longer.
There are no more small rooms and big paintings, there are no more arches to enter through that made you feel like you were headed in for worship.
Here I learned that there wasn’t just one ‘god’- I could be a creator too. In those paint strokes, I learned that I had control over the beauty in my life, that humans are the actual gods- it is all within each of us- the gift to make our own beauty. In that building there was no fear, only a sermon on bravery, bravery to make your individual mark.